Namur, June 29 - 30, 2020


Dear colleague and participant,

We have waited for as long as possible before deciding to postpone the EDI Annual Conference scheduled to take place in Namur on 29-30 June 2020. Today, we have enough information to make that unfortunate decision: the problems created by the rapid propagation worldwide of the coronavirus and the resulting uncertainties regarding the ending of the crisis and the logistics of an international event force us to cancel the event for now. We will return to you as soon as possible to communicate about a new date for the conference.

Wishing you the best in these exceptional circumstances,

Jean-Philippe Platteau and François Bourguignon


      The forthcoming EDI Conference (Namur, June 29-30, 2020) is the fifth of its kind. It succeeds similar events held in Paris, June 2019, in Namur, February 2017, in Paris, June 2016, and in Namur, January 2016. Its main objective is to allow members of the EDI research network to present results of their research, whether intermediate or final, and to receive comments from participants. It is also to allow the academic directors and the members of the various scientific committees to take stock of the ongoing progress toward achieving breakthroughs in our thinking about the role of institutions in development, with special emphasis on the interactions between formal and informal institutions.

     The output resulting from the first Research Activity (RA1) is about to be released by Princeton University Press in the form of a Handbook on Economic Development and Institutions (edited by Jean-Marie Baland, François Bourguignon, Jean-Philippe Platteau, and Thierry Verdier) that contains 20 contributions covering various frontier areas of research. The second Research Activity (RA2) so far comprises four country case studies (Tanzania, Benin, Bangladesh, and Mozambique) of so-called institutional diagnostic, of which the first three have been almost completed. The third Research Activity (RA3) consists of RCTs aimed at assessing the impact of specific institutional changes, while the fourth Research Activity (RA4) includes case studies that address issues of institutional change through a variety of methodological approaches.

     In the forthcoming conference, about 25 presentations of RA3 and RA4 studies will be made and a synthesis of the institutional diagnostics for Benin and Bangladesh will be communicated. In order to extract the main lessons emerging from all the presentations, the conference will conclude with a final panel that will include several members of the scientific committees and David Laitin as a special guest.

We very much look forward to welcoming you in Namur on that occasion.


 Jean-Philippe Platteau and François Bourguignon